This Week’s Featured Watch #36 – The Cutlass, 33 Jewels

One of the less familiar models in the 52 Crystal Seven / Seven Star movement family, is the Cutlass. First produced in 1968, three years after the Crystal Seven was introduced, the Cutlass has either date and day windows, with 27 or 33 jewels (movement number 5260) or is date only with 33 jewels (5460), or has no day or date with 30 jewels (6420).

The key characteristic of the 5260 Cutlass which differentiates it from the Crystal Seven models is the slightly slimmer movement – Citizen shaved approximately 0.5mm off compared to the standard Crystal Sevens. See the 52 Family Tree for where the Cutlass fits in the group: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stephen.netherwood/52FamilyTree.v1Secure.pdf

As indicated by the high jewel counts, the Cutlass was an upper medium model, broadly on a par with the Crystal Seven. They have a unique applied logo at the 6 o’clock position. This week’s example has 33 jewels, and features a textured dial with contrasting black roman hour markers and main hands:

Detail of the dial finish and Cutlass logo, note it’s marked ‘AUTODAY DATE’ rather than the more typical ‘Autodater’ seen on the Jets and other automatics such as the SM and the 520/540:

The case back is specially marked for this line, with ‘CUSS 3002 Y’ model number, and the serial number gives a production date of July 1968:

The movement runs at 18,000 beats per hour, and is stamped with its number near the balance wheel. It can be hand wound and, unlike the Crystal Seven movements, it can be hacked:

The case is nicely shaped on the sides and around the signed crown:

The Crystal Sevens are relatively easy to find, whilst the Cutlass is much rarer, and is an interesting dress watch from the late 1960s.

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11 Responses to This Week’s Featured Watch #36 – The Cutlass, 33 Jewels

  1. adim1973 says:

    Hi Stephen,
    You didn’t mention the 30 jewels model, cal. 6420, although it does appear in your movement table. Do you know something about this models? I’ve seen them mentioned significant less than 27 and 33 jewels 52xx/54xx models so I was quite surprised seeing this http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/261166643304 for sale. I was lucky enough to buy it and I can’t wait to receive it and open it!
    Anyway, keep up the good work, much of my love for Citizen and Seiko comes from your posts.

    Cheers,
    Adrian

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Adrian,

      Looks like a very nice example you have purchased. I think the seller gets watches from the Yahoo Japan auctions, and then has rather high ‘BIN’ prices on eBay – I see you made an offer so hope you got a reasonable deal 🙂

      The Cutlass is a nice upper medium grade watch, and you’re right that the 6420 (no day or date) version is seen less often than the 5260 (day and date) and 5460 (date only) models, and these are not seen too frequently anyway! These were all first produced in 1968, and I guess they had only a short production run – there are no Cutlass models in the 1971 catalog. They are part of the 5200 family of movements, and were a little thinner than the more well known Crystal Sevens – see the Family Tree here: http://homepage.ntlworld.com/stephen.netherwood/520%20Crystal%20Seven%20Family%20Tree%20v2.pdf

      I have two examples of the 5260, both have been ‘Featured Watches’ so you may have seen both of them.The 5260 was made with 27 and 33 jewels, the 5460 only with 33 jewels and the 6420 only with 30 jewels. These high jewel counts reflect the high quality of the watch. They also have that unique and cool applied logo on the dial 🙂

      Thanks for your comments – I’ve now updated the Featured Watch #36 as a result, since as you say I’d missed a reference to the 6420.

      Hope to hear more about yours when you receive it.

      Stephen

      • adim1973 says:

        I have seen your two models presented here some time ago (as a matter of fact it was first time when I saw the Cutlass model) and they are very beautiful.
        For mine I have paid 190 USD. I know is not a bargain, the seller knows exactly what he sells, but I wanted a cutlass too much and this one looks in too nice shape to miss it. 🙂
        Of course I will let you know when the watch will arrive. It will join my Seiko/Citizen mini army (you can see it here: http://www.thewatchsite.com/index.php/topic,34361.0.html). Also on its way to me is a Citizen Diamond Flake, another model I’ve wanted for a long time.
        Thank you again for your time and help.

        Adrian

        • sweephand says:

          Thanks for the link to your post on the SCWF – your Super Deluxe is interesting, not seen that dial before. Good to hear you have a Diamond Flake on the way, looking forward to seeing that one too 🙂

          I think you paid a decent price for what is quite a rare watch, particularly outside of Japan. And the ‘linen’ dial on it looks very nice, as well as having what looks like a solid link bracelet which may be original to the watch – the end links look to fit well. Did you know it has a single piece case, i.e. need to get at the movement from the front?

          Stephen

  2. adim1973 says:

    I knew about single piece case (from this link http://jambahari.blogspot.com/2011/03/citizen-cutlass-auto-rm-350.html, where there is an identical Cutlass and it says “Open Thru”) but I’m curious how did you figure it out: because the back case has no opening holes or from “CUAS 3001-TA” inscription? By the way, what is the meaning of this? Anyway, I know my watchmaker will not be very happy about this… 🙂
    About the production date of my watch (serial 80701536) I believe is 1968 (first 8), July (07). Is this correct?
    This is the Diamond Flake I have: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Citizen-Diamond-Flake-vintage-gents-mechanical-wristwatch-rare-/271140718592. The dial looks very well and I think with a new glass or some polish it will look great. Also not presented in SCWF picture because is added lately is another Goldfeather (http://webcache.googleusercontent.com/search?q=cache:lA2AfxVYvfAJ:www.benl.ebay.be/itm/121008812959) with a beautiful dial.
    I will update the post on SCWF when the Cutlass and Diamond Flake will arrive.

    Have a beatiful weekend,
    Adrian

    P.S. I think this may be a duplicate comment, look like something is not working with my laptop.

    • sweephand says:

      The little ‘x’ in a circle on the case back tells us that the back doesn’t open, I first found that on a Seven hand winder, then on a Cosmotron GX. You’re right about the production date, and the ‘CUAS 3001-TA’ is the old style case / model number before it was replaced by the 4-xxxxxx type of case code and XX-XXXX type of model number. So CUAS is short for Cutlass – compared with, for example, ADSS + number on my Jet Autodater. My 1968 Cutlass has the code CUSS 3002-Y whilst my 1969 one has the later type of code.

      That Goldfeather is very nice indeed and I should think the Diamond Flake will clean up well. Very cool names aren’t they!

      No problem about the duplicate post, I can just trash the other one 🙂

      Stephen

  3. adim1973 says:

    Hi Stephen,
    I’ve just (literally “just”, it was like 30 minutes ago :), so you’re the first one I wanted to let know) won this: http://www.ebay.com/itm/CITIZEN-CUTLASS-1958-MANS-WATCH-SUPERB-WORKING-COND-/221296495529?_trksid=p2047675.l2557&ssPageName=STRK%3AMEWNX%3AIT&nma=true&si=mrR0zxn80mcuOQct3%252BAmXjvGAwI%253D&orig_cvip=true&rt=nc, a square 33 jewels Citizen Cutlass day-date (so it should be a 5260 movement), with original bracelet and box (as the seller said). The seller says is from 1958, but from the back number (90700429) I believe is from 1969. I don’t know what is the meaning of the other back number: 4-260091TA.
    Anyway I think it is a good catch and can’t wait to have it in my hands! I believe the price was also good…

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Adrian – nice buy 🙂 I hadn’t seen that auction. The Cutlass is quite a rare model, especially on eBay. These are good quality watches, the high jewel count reflects that. They use the 5260 movement, part of the 52 Family. 4-260091 is the case number – as it happens I’ve been wearing a Cutlass over the last few days – case number 4-260066. The ’26’ part indicates a Cutlass.

      The bracelet does look like an original. Here’s a scan from Citizen’s 1969 marketing material showing the original bracelets (the one I’m wearing is in the centre, but on leather):

      Congrats 🙂

  4. Barry Nielsen says:

    Hi what age is the ladies cutlass 17 jewel ,,,and its worth I have just received one

  5. Barry Nielsen says:

    On back G R 27001

    • sweephand says:

      Hi Barry, thanks for visiting my blog 🙂 I’m afraid I don’t know this model. Are there any other markings on the dial and case back? It would be very helpful to see a pic – can you post a link to any photos? (I’m afraid you can’t directly post a photo here)
      Stephen

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